Our ‘Greenhouse-in-a-Box’ Saves 98% Water, Doubles Farmer Incomes

Launched by Sathya Raghu Mokkapati, startup Kheyti is working to ease the burden of climate change on small farmers through its ‘greenhouse-in-a-box’ innovation.

Climate change and its adverse effects haven’t spared anyone, least of all the farmers in rural India, who witness losses every year due to drought, heat, rain and pest attacks. When Sathya Raghu Mokkapati was 17 years old, he witnessed this first hand when he saw a farmer in his village eat mud. 

On asking the farmer why he was resorting to this, the farmer replied, “My crops failed. My stomach doesn’t know my pockets are empty.” 

The incident remained in Sathya’s mind and haunted him even years later, when and his colleagues Kaushik K, Saumya, and Ayush Sharma were discussing the harrowing lives of small farmers

Farmers benefit from the innovation by having an increased yield and saving water
Farmers benefit from the innovation by having an increased yield and saving water, Picture source: Kheyti

This propelled them to launch Kheyti in 2015 and come up with an innovation ‘Greenhouse-in-a-box’ that would get smallholder farmers in India their dues by increasing their profits. 

Explaining how the model works, Sathya says, “We build houses to live in safety and to protect ourselves from environmental factors like heat, rain, insects, etc. Likewise, a greenhouse helps plants thrive. Our greenhouse cuts off excess heat by 2-4 degrees Celsius, reduces pests by 90 per cent and saves 98 per cent water as compared to open-field conventional irrigation.”

The ‘Greenhouse-in-a-box’ innovation is a respite to smallholder farmers
The ‘Greenhouse-in-a-box’ innovation is a respite to smallholder farmers, Picture source: Kheyti

The intent behind this, he says in a TED Talk, is that while we cannot cool the entire planet in one day, it is possible to create a climate for a small portion of farmers’ land to be suitable for farming. 

The ‘Greenhouse-in-a-box’ kit has two variants — one costs about Rs 2 lakh (for 320 sq mts) while the other costs about Rs 3.35 lakh (for 462 sq mts) and the farmers also get training on what to grow, how to grow and when to grow. 

Watch how this concept is helping farmers across the country increase their yield: